Evan Kelsick | Euphoned? I Answered!

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Euphoned? I Answered!

by Evan Kelsick

A solo euphonium and tuba album, made up of entirely new compositions by some of the nation's most prominent composers.
Genre: Classical: New Music Ensemble
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Declarations
Evan Kelsick & Priscilla Yuen
8:59 $0.99
2. Baryons
Evan Kelsick & Priscilla Yuen
9:25 $0.99
3. A Euphonious Quartet: I. Slowly-Fast and Bright
Evan Kelsick, Soo Yeon Kim, Sergio Muñoz & Cora Swenson Lee
7:13 $0.99
4. A Euphonious Quartet: II. Slowly and Expressively
Evan Kelsick, Soo Yeon Kim, Sergio Muñoz & Cora Swenson Lee
3:45 $0.99
5. A Euphonious Quartet: III. Fast and Furious
Evan Kelsick, Soo Yeon Kim, Sergio Muñoz & Cora Swenson Lee
2:52 $0.99
6. Les Bornes de la Raison
Evan Kelsick
9:23 $0.99
7. Interval Signal
Evan Kelsick, Priscilla Yuen & Melissa Kindy
13:21 $0.99
8. Action Figures: I. Flight
Evan Kelsick, Phil Ellison & Christopher Jones
2:19 $0.99
9. Action Figures: II. Stealth
Evan Kelsick, Phil Ellison & Christopher Jones
2:26 $0.99
10. Action Figures: III. Strength
Evan Kelsick, Phil Ellison & Christopher Jones
2:17 $0.99
11. Action Figures: IV. Speed
Evan Kelsick, Phil Ellison & Christopher Jones
2:12 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
About the Works

Declarations by R. Christopher Teichler

I was honored when Evan Kelsick contacted me out of the blue to discuss a commission. We had a few, brief conversations about what sort of piece he was looking for, but he essentially gave me free reign to go in the direction of my choosing.

I had never written a solo piece for euphonium, other than wind ensemble and concert band parts, but I always had an admiration for the instrument. I am a trumpet player, but I had played some euphonium in high school and for one year in college, and absolutely loved it. Because it is a valved instrument, the euphonium can display clarity and dexterity like a trumpet, but it can also be expressive and lyrical; I wanted to display these opposing qualities in my composition for Evan.

Declarations features prominent melodic material throughout; from the fast outer sections as well as the contrasting slower middle section, the melody is always clear. A driving pulse and consistent syncopation propel the energy of the outer sections, while the middle section sits on rich harmonies through pandiatonicism.

I am grateful to Evan for the opportunity to compose Declarations for him, including the chance to contribute to the euphonium repertoire. Through this collaboration I have decided to composer more for this instrument, as I believe there is much more for the euphonium to say.

Program note by R. Christopher Teichler

Baryons by Robert Morris

In the winter of 2015, Evan Kelsick, a young and very able euphonium player, asked me if I’d like to write a piece for him. For a while, I wasn’t sure I’d write the piece until I decided to write a duet for euphonium and piano and hit upon a “spectral” idea for the way the piano would support the ample tone of the euphonium.

The euphonium is often confused with other instruments, such as the tenor tuba, baritone horn, tenor bugle, and Wagner tuba—all slightly different instruments that have different bores. From one of these misnomers, “baritone,” evolved the title of the work, which I first conceived as a small piece for heavy instruments (euphonium and piano) punning on the baryons of subatomic physics. This association proved to have a serious side because the baryons (literally “heavy particles”) were classified in 1961 by physicists Murray Gell-Mann and Yuval Ne’eman, according to a mathematical structure borrowed from group theory, which Gell-Mann called “The Eightfold Way” (borrowing that term from Buddhism!). Furthermore, the work became more and more complicated and extensive as I composed it, also using group theory to relate the pitch and temporal materials. In fact, I hadn’t written such a complex piece for some time.

Baryons has a sort of refrain that occurs fours times—at the beginning, end, and two internal moments—in which the basic materials of the piece are clearly articulated by long notes in the euphonium whose onsets are articulated by the piano. The rest of the work involves interrelated sections, some of which are combined to form other sections.

Program Note by Robert Morris

A Euphonious Quartet by Samuel Adler

A Euphonious Quartet is a work for Euphonium, Violin, Viola and Cello and was written in the fall of 2015 at the request of Evan Kelsick to whom the work is dedicated. It is in three movements and lasts about 15 minutes.

Evan Kelsick has made it part of his mission in life not only to play the Euphonium but also to create a larger literature for the work by commissioning composers to write for the instrument. I was happy to comply with his request since I like the instrument myself and have written two other works. I find that a literature for such a beautiful instrument is a great importance especially since these days we have such excellent performers all over the world who need a greater amount of works especially in the realm of chamber music including the Euphonium. I don't know how many works for the instrument with three strings exists, but I felt it was a challenge to write a work which uses these forces which I particularly like.

The work is in three movements: A slow introductory statement followed by a dance. Then a longer second slow movement follows. The third movement is a fast and furious finale. I have always gone along with the edict of Plato who taught that music was either song or dance. Therefore the slow section, as well as the second movement, is a lyric expression featuring that quality in all the four instruments. Each instrument is featured playing lyrical lines which are truly song-like. In the second and last movement a dance quality and rhythm is kept throughout. In the second movement, constantly changing meters offset a steady beat and lend great excitement to the dance, while in the last movement the constant driving energy gives the impression of a wild dance. In that movement there is a short reference to an established dance, namely a waltz, which interrupts the madness of the wilder dance with a more relaxed moment.

As in most of my chamber music, I treat the four instruments as equals and make them have a constant dialogue with each other. I feel that this adds intimacy to the whole work and features the very best qualities inherent in each of the four soloists. With this work, plus other solo works for euphonium, and an earlier piece called Four Dialogues for euphonium and marimba, I hope that I have added my contribution to the literature of this most valuable instrument.

Program Note by Samuel Adler

Interval Signal by Jeffrey Stadelman

This single-movement concertante work for euphonium, with clarinet and piano, is based upon an early piano prelude by Alexander Scriabin. One feature of that miniature is that its pastoral, horn-like material unfolds in short discrete sections, set off by points of pause full of ringing sound. This in turn put me in mind of the repeated musical snippets that international shortwave stations used to broadcast, for hours at a time, to mark their spots on the dial. As a kid my favorite such musical beacon, or “interval signal,” was West German Radio’s Fidelio aria phrase. Those days are gone now, with the internet and the subsequent disappearance of most Cold War-era shortwave international services.

So, my working title for this piece was “Variations on a Scriabin Prelude Heard as a Shortwave Interval Signal Beacon.” I am happily keeping my ears open for other suitable historical works for variation within this new “interval signal” genre. The piece was commissioned by, and written for, Evan Kelsick.

Program Note by Jeffrey Stadelman

...les bornes de la raison... by Andrew Waggoner

...les bornes de la raison... (the limits of reason) was composed in 2015 for Evan Kelsick. The title comes from an essay of Michel de Montaigne, the evergreen 16th-century French essayist and social philosopher who invented an entire literary genre while acting as a kind of social Nostradamus, handing down an entire repertoire of basic human truths seemingly designed expressly for our confused and troubled time. ...les bornes... comes from an essay entitled Liberté de conscience (Liberty of Conscience), in which he lays out the ways and degrees to which religious zealotry of all flavors overflows "the limits of reason" to become a dangerous tool of oppression. A believer himself, Montaigne was not issuing a broadside against faith (à la Sam Harris), but rather against its cynical manipulation in the service of a political end. My essay for solo euphonium takes off from Montaigne's image of a rhetoric at the outer edge of reason; starting from a resonant, seemingly well-bounded major 10th, it quickly flies off into more urgent fragments that threaten to pull the piece apart at the seams. After a climax in which these figures coalesce and overwhelm a more lyrical, thoughtful passage, the whole thing drifts up into a dream of harmony that is marked both tranquil and "weird"; our dreamer has, at least temporarily, left the world of argument behind and taken refuge in a vision freed of opposites and oppositions. The ending, however, suggests that this Eden may be short-lived. ...les bornes de la raison... is dedicated with gratitude and admiration to Evan Kelsick.

Program Note by Andrew Waggoner

Action Figures by Gary Fry

When Evan approached me about writing a concert suite for him using the rather unorthodox instrumental combination of euphonium/tuba, marimba/vibraphone, and drum set, it sparked the idea of a somewhat whimsical organizing construct for a virtuoso showpiece. Euphonium as superhero! From that notion, it was easy to imagine small musical vignettes inspired by super-abilities, and the title Action Figures sprang to mind in a flash (pun intended). The double meaning of an action figure as either a toy hero doll or a short, busy musical motif was too powerful to resist, and I set off in compositional pursuit of the concept.

A version of the classical multi-movement suite form (fast-slow-scherzo-fast) was pressed into service: first, Supersonic (as fast as possible), celebrating that most seminal of super capabilities, flight; second, Sneaky (moderately slow swing), with the super-spy James Bond and his uncanny knack of eluding detection firmly in mind; third, Heavy and mighty, affording the tuba its opportunity to show über-human strength; and finally, In a flash (allegro molto), streaking to the end of the suite in a burst of super-speed.

The presence of drum set and the ‘fun quotient’ of the initial idea suggested a jazzy influence, respecting the traditional chamber music focus on dialogue among the instruments with the very linear, contrapuntal approach that is also common to small-ensemble jazz. Individual movements loosely embody an ABA formal outline, another principle frequently used in both jazz and classical genres. Though unquestionably tonal in nature, chromaticism is used very freely, and most development occurs as the short motives are tossed back and forth, broken down into even smaller bits, or turned upside down and backwards, always with an eye to challenging the three instrumentalists to boldly embrace the limits of tempo, technique, and range. Each player is summoned to bring specialized skills and create a trio of musician-Avengers, charged with saving the musical universe from the dark forces that arise...when one takes oneself too seriously.



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